Nobody becomes a one-name celebrity overnight. Ringo played drums in dive bars, Beyonce was in Carmen: A Hip Hopera, and Jean-Georges - who now has more than 35 restaurants around the world - started at a stuffy French spot in a brownstone on the Upper East Side. It’s been around since 1991, but recently closed, and after updating the space and menu, reopened as a place that feels like a nice date spot in the West Village. The French-leaning dishes are still excellent, like the roasted chicken with crispy skin and perfectly cooked meat. But no matter what entree you order, make sure to start with the crab dumplings, which have dough that basically dissolve when you bite into them.
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Bangklyn East Harlem
Bangklyn East Harlem is a casual spot with really good Thai food and a collection of vintage clothing in the corner.
Emmy Squared UES
Of course the UES has an Emmy Squared now, and the pizza here is just as good as it is at their other locations.
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For your next special occasion/fancy night out dinner in SoHo, consider the French fine dining at Le Coucou.
Le Crocodile is a French restaurant in the bottom of the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg. Stop by, eat some chicken, and admire the high ceilings.
Le Marais is a kosher French restaurant in Midtown with great steaks and sidewalk seating.
Suggested by our writers
The Grill is the revamp of the legendary Four Seasons restaurant, run by the people behind Carbone. It’s very similar, very expensive, and worth it.
abcV is Jean-Georges’ third restaurant inside of the ABC Carpet & Home furniture store, and this one is all vegetarian. It’s also the best.
Daniel is a New York City fine dining classic. Save it for a special occasion and eat in the salon, where things are a bit more laid back.
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